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7 Habits of Highly Effective SEOs

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This week one of the most well known and influential business writers of our time, [URL=""]Stephen Covey[/URL] passed away. He has left a legacy for marketers and business people all over the world. His habits can be applied to just about any field, and [URL=""]Mark Jackson for Search Engine Watch[/URL] applies his teachings to SEO marketers.

Here are the 7 Habits of Highly Effective SEOs:

[B]Habit 1: Be Proactive[/B]

[COLOR=#444444]In our world, being proactive means you can't chase an algorithm.[/COLOR]
[COLOR=#444444]What we can focus on are those things that we can control, which is develop a sound web presence that the search engines “should want to” rank – one that:[/COLOR]
[LIST][*]Presents a [URL=""]quality user experience[/URL].[*]Has [URL=""]quality/resourceful/unique content[/URL].[*]Has [URL=""]earned links[/URL] through methods that most would call “good marketing”[/LIST][B]Habit 2: Begin with the End in Mind[/B]
[COLOR=#444444]It is the responsibility of any good SEO to lay out a plan based upon the end goals, and begin the process of developing the necessary steps to achieve the end goal.

[/COLOR][B]Habit 3: Put First Things First[/B]
[COLOR=#444444]Often, when performing a [/COLOR][URL=""]competitive analysis[/URL][COLOR=#444444], we find websites that are quite successful (getting a lot of quality organic search traffic for keywords that we’d like to target). When we can identify those top competitors and uncover the reasons why they are successful, we can reverse engineer their success and build a program based upon “best practices”.

[/COLOR][B]Habit 4: Think Win-Win[/B]
[COLOR=#444444]From an industry standpoint, someone who has done a tremendous job in understanding this “habit” very well is [URL=""]Rand Fishkin[/URL]. From my recollection, Fishkin was the first person to take his “corporate website” and turn it (largely) into a blog.[/COLOR]
[COLOR=#444444]Fishkin then proceeded to “give away” his IP (Intellectual Property). Anything that he knew, or thought, or whatever was posted for the community at large to read, disseminate, comment and – yes – share (links).

[B]Habit 5: Seek First to Understand, Then to be Understood[/B]
Without understanding this principle, you may try to target keywords that you [I]think[/I] everyone should be searching for, rather than doing the research to see how people [I]actually[/I] search for your products and/or services.

[B]Habit 6: Synergize[/B]
A proper SEO effort is one in which PPC works with SEO, PR works with SEO, social marketing works with SEO, copywriting works with SEO, video/image teams work with SEO, web design/development teams work with SEO, and IT teams work with SEO.
Getting this synergy in place can lead to beautiful results. However, if synergy isn't in place, you can't expect to realize optimal results.

[B]Habit 7: Sharpen the Saw[/B]
SEO, when done well, isn't a one-and-done affair. Optimization of results, via analytics review/analysis, usability reviews, on-going tweaking/refining of on-page/off-page SEO and conversion optimization lead to better and better results, over time.


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